The Science Guy

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No – it’s your hero. Tell us about them, whoever or whatever they may be. God knows that cheesecake can save lives.

“Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill Nye the Science Guy!” was the anthem of my childhood.  That, and “Ride on the Magic School Bus!”

I recently re-watched an episode of Bill Nye (the one about volcanoes) and was impressed with the depth of information he was able to convey while still appealing in an incredible way to the 6-year old in me.  He was interesting, engaged, energetic, repeated key terms, and had great timing.  Bill Nye is a Science Guy I can get behind.

Born the son of a codebreaker and a WWII vet, William Sanford Nye did his undergrad at Cornell in mechanical engineering (interesting side note: one of his professors was Carl Sagan).  He went on to a short career with Boeing designing engine parts, but was compelled to reach out to the public as Bill Nye the Science Guy.  He had a show with Disney where he played a hilarious and dynamic scientist with catchphrases like “Science Rules!” and “….. of Science”.  The show ran for five years in the 90s and garnered Nye much attention and praise.

Since then, Nye has been actively involved in the science community, heading up projects to put a sundial on the Curiosity rover, writing, appearing on talk shows and in various media as an expert in physics and astronomy.  His passion for learning, science, and education are a wonder to observe.  I think the way he presents information is perfectly suited to his audience and he is a master at his craft.  Watching him, I learn both from the content of his presentation and the presentation itself.  As an aspiring science communicator, Bill Nye is my hero.

Rather than gush any more about this incredible man, I will leave you with some clips from his various appearances.  Sometimes he is the jocular entertainer, other times a serious thinker, and often he is somewhere in between.

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